New Zealand All Blacks Rugby News

Buck Shelford battles cancer




The great Buck Shelford is fighting a private battle against lymphoma, a cancer which attacks the glands, forms of which are eminently treatable.

He has asked that his privacy be respected as he seeks to get over the difficulty. His wife Jo told the Sunday Star-Times that “his prognosis was good and doctors were pleased with his response to treatment”.

She said: “We found out a month ago and he has five more months of treatment. We are very positive and pleased with how the treatment is going.”

Shelford was an extraordinarily successful captain. He captained the All Blacks in 31 matches without defeat and 14 of those matches between 1988, just after the inaugural World Cup, and 1990 were Tests. He captained the Maori 13 times and they lost just once. And then Grizz Wylie dropped his athletic, charismatic No.8. This led to a national |Bring Back Buck” campaign. In all he played in 22 Tests.

After school Shelford joined the New Zealand Navy from which he resigned to be able to tour South Africa with the New Zealand Cavaliers in 1986. When he reapplied to join the navy after the tour he was told that there were no jobs available.

In 1987 Shelford won a gold medal when the All Blacks won the very first World Cup.

Dropped in 1990 he headed for Northampton and later took up coaching, first ads an assistant at North Harbour, then as head coach of Northampton, then as player-coach to Roma before returning to North Harbour.

He was a great, striking All Black.


365 Digital

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